Eastern Notes: Raptors, Bucks, Pacers, Hawks

At a morning press conference in Toronto today, the Raptors introduced new GM and president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri, who returns to the Raps after having previously served as the team's assistant GM. Mike Ulmer of Raptors.com has the details on Ujiri's re-introduction to Toronto media, which included a noncommital response when asked if coach Dwane Casey would be back.

"I need two or three weeks where Coach and I are going to figure out whether this thing is going to go forward for the next year," Ujiri said. "Right now, I don’t see any reason why [he won't be back]."

Despite having only spent two seasons on the Raptors' bench, Casey ranks among the top half of the league's longest-tenured head coaches, as I outlined earlier this afternoon. As we wait to see what his future holds, here are a few more items from around the Eastern Conference:

  • At yesterday's press conference introducing new head coach Larry Drew, Bucks owner Herb Kohl told reporters, including Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that undergoing a full-scale rebuild and bottoming out isn't an option for the team. "There are different ways teams conduct their business in the sports leagues," Kohl said. "And I like to see that we put a competitive product on the floor every season…. Often times teams that are really bad and losing find a bottom that they can't get out of."
  • Grantland's Zach Lowe looks ahead to the Pacers' offseason, writing that the team figures to "tweak the edges" of its roster this offseason using the mid-level exception and minimum-salary deals.
  • By specifically mentioning Dwight Howard and Chris Paul as free agent targets in an email to prospective ticket buyers, the Hawks may be in violation of the NBA's anti-tampering policy, as Chris Vivalmore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution explains.
  • Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com offers a few suggestions for how the Knicks might fill the hole created on the roster by Jason Kidd's retirement.

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